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“Making Decisions Based on Data Means Resolving Matters Faster and Better”

Creating Value along the PEP – the 2018 MTM Conference

Industry 4.0 had hardly been given its name, but FIR e.V. at RWTH Aachen University had already started dealing with the challenges of digitalization as a special interest group in the field of industrial management. Industry 4.0 is not an isolated activity or simply a question of technology for Jan Reschke, Head of the Logistics Competence Center and Head of the Production Management Department, but is embedded as a task in the complete digitalization roadmap of any corporation. This means not just focusing on a particular department – like production or IT – but the complete organization, with human beings at the center. Reschke will be passing on his experience from his project and research work on a successful 4.0 corporation to those attending the MTM Conference in Heilbronn on 27 April 2018.

The FIR advises its member corporations and customers extensively on planning and managing resources in good time and in line with needs – and all this takes place against the background of digital transformation. What are you working on specifically?
It’s our goal to support corporations as they adopt digital transformation by ensuring that issues like the flow of materials and information are synchronized with each other along complete business processes. The prerequisite for this is consistent master data and end-to-end data management. This begins with determining reliable figures – e. g. standard times with MTM – it continues with processing the data and ends with their documentation. The calculation is very simple: the better the master data, the better the planning work and the better the results will be. We have an ideal partner here in MTM.

Enterprises that learn and are flexible is your topic at the 2018 MTM Conference. How is this related to data?
Generating, collecting and then just storing data does not provide many benefits to a corporation. It’s becoming increasingly important, for example, to assess data generated on the shop floor in every direction and make the results available to other departments – that is to say, the complete corporation needs to learn from the data that’s available. The great benefit for management is that making decisions based on data means resolving matters faster and better.

You’ve already mentioned the synchronization of the flow of materials and information as a task. What are you and your colleagues working on apart from this?
Generally, of course, on the issue of how industrial enterprises can benefit from digitalization. This includes developing data-based services and new business models for generating, collecting and assessing data. We’re working, for example, with the MTM Software House on this. We’re looking at the numerous interrelationships between the different design fields in Industry 4.0 in order to support consistent developments in the departments and therefore make a contribution towards the sustainability of I4.0 activities too.

The 2018 MTM Conference is not only geared towards major industrial corporations or enterprises, but increasingly the medium-sized sector. Has Industry 4.0 caught on everywhere already?
As far as the realization that something needs to be done, yes. Of course, the development process at large corporations is moving head faster than at small and medium-sized enterprises. The latter simply don’t have the resources to handle the issue of digitalization in great detail. However, there’s no single solution as regards Industry 4.0. Individual concepts are what’s necessary – and that’s where we’re providing support.

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